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Tavern On the Green

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Tavern On the Green

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Address: West 67th St and Central Park West
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10023
Phone: (212) 877-8684
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Chef: Bill Peet
Cuisine: American
2nd Cuisine:
Area: West 60s
Entree Price: $25-30


The new incarnation of Tavern on the Green celebrates New York and Central Park, welcoming those who live here and those who visit with panache and locally sourced food using high quality ingredients. (This whole thing sounds like a great change from the overblown, brassy mess of the Warner LeRoy era.) TOTG, several years in the making, is the collaboration of restaurateurs Jim Caola and David Salama who have teamed with celebrated chef Katy Sparks. The red canopy, inspired by photos from the 40s, greets visitors and gives onto a large garden used for outdoor cocktails when weather permits. At one end of the Central Park room is a vista of the Park itself with a prominent view of Sheep Meadow, a reminder that from the 1880s to the 1940s, sheep were housed where the restaurant now stands. The room, seating 140, is filled with light thanks to off-white leather tables, light wood chairs and cheery gray- and-yellow patterned banquettes. Special ovens, grills and panchas anchor the open kitchen, from which Sparks and her team send out a New American source-driven menu. Diners may start with one of many smoked fish delights such as a plate featuring two kinds of salmon, pickled herring, goat cream cheese and raw honey mustard or choose among cerviche including black sea bass, Spanish mackerel or salmon with blistered chili peppers--if you can't decide between them, opt for a trio. The Tavern Salad is composed of chicories with speck, roasted carrots and raw asparagus-- it sounds silly but is likely to taste wonderful. Move onto small plates, whether from the Hearth, Plancha or Grill, sampling wood-roasted eggplant with pomegranate and yogurt; local sea scallops with fried shallots and capers or a fried duck egg atop an onion and smoked ricotta crostata. If not already sated or you prefer to immediately go for the gold, order one of Tavern's large plates that could be skirt steak, pork chop with roasted rhubarb and fennel, Vermont quail with grits and roast grapes, pasta or various fish offerings. Desserts include Red Velvet Cake with roasted beets, cocoa nibs and cardamom; a bittersweet chocolate mousse, ice box cake enhanced with maple rum pudding and other sweets as well as a cheese plate laden with honey comb and spiced nuts. The South Wing serves 120 people and is available for private events. There is a "Green to Go" area serving snacks, drinks and organic-ingredient sandwiches with ten seats for those who drop by with strollers or bikes. The whole newly created Tavern has a lighter, airier feel than the TOTG of yore with a light fixture of golden winged horses; brass and glass lighting adorned flowers around the globes and verre églomisé (glass decorated on the back with engraved gold or silver leaf) in the South Dining Room. Dinner is served Sunday - Thursday 5 pm - 11 pm and until midnight Fridays and Saturdays; Lunch, starting Monday, May 13, runs from 11:30 to 3 PM with brunch as of May 10 on Saturdays and Sundays from 10-4 . The whole venture is part spectacle, part "accessible" food and totally a celebration of a legacy space for diners to embrace. - Mari Gold